BOOKS: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In interviews, movie director Quentin Tarantino said he loved reading the novelizations of popular movies as a kid.

Granted, many movies have been adapted from bestselling books but there was an era when blockbuster movies were adapted into novels based on the movie. Moviegoers and/or readers could find books based on movies such as the original "Star Wars" trilogy or the early "Rocky" movies, etc.

So after he wrote the script and directed "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" a few years ago, Tarantino turned his attention to penning a novelization of his own movie.

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" tells the same story of Rick Dalton, a nearly washed-up TV Western actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his stunt double Clint Booth, played by Brad Pitt, and their adventures in the Hollywood of the late 1960s.

But the book gives a lot more back story. If a moviegoer liked the characters of Rick and Clint in the film, they will find new facets of their lives, personalities and friendship in the book.

While the book stays true to the movie, Tarantino, the book author, doesn't deal the cards the same way as he did as a movie director. All of the cards are in the deck but he deals readers a new hand.

He also shares various detailed thoughts on movies, TV, music and other cultural touchstones from the 1950s and '60s. 

Many readers may also feel the need to conduct quick internet checks to determine who is based on a real person and who is a fictional character in the book version of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."

Fans of Tarantino and specifically fans of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" should find something to like in this book; however, some regular Tarantino fans did not care for this movie, while some viewers who don't typically appreciate Tarantino's prolonged dialogue and willingness to juggle chronology liked this movie. 

At times, one may wonder if the book isn't based on the backstory that Tarantino may have shared with his actors to bring insight to character motive. 

If so, many will be glad he shared those insights in novel form. 

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